A Housing Overview
• 5.3 million: Projected number of existing-home sales in 2011, up from 4.9 million last year
• 5.6 million: Projected number of existing-home sales in 2012
• 603,000: Projected housing starts in 2011, up from 595,000 last year
• 908,000: Projected housing starts in 2012
• $170,000: Median existing-home price, which is predicted to hold steady for the next two years
• $202,100: Median new-home price, the lowest since 2003
• 20%: Number of homebuyers who are single women
• 12%: Number of homebuyers who are single men
Source: National Association of Realtors
123,400: Approximate number of real-estate brokers in the U.S.
394,400: Approximate number of real-estate agents
59% of these professionals are self-employed
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
$20 billion: Amount the real-estate sector spent on advertising in 2010
$22 billion: Projected spending in 2011
Who Owns A Home?
• 69.2: Percent of Americans who owned a home in 2004
• 66.4: Percent who own a home in 2011
Two-thirds of Americans view home ownership as a safe investment, according to a 2011 Fannie Mae survey.
The American Dream Lives On
• 8 in 10 adults agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment one can make
• 81% of renters say they’d prefer to buy a home one day
Source: Pew Research Center
Seven Tips To Construct A Real-Estate Promotion
1. Explore cooperative marketing. “This could be between the settlement company and the mortgage lender, or the lender and the buyer or leaser,” says Seth Weiner, MAS, president of Gaithersburg, Maryland-based distributor Sonic Promos (UPIC: sonicpro). “This provides more opportunity for like businesses to hit people with multiple messages about the same overall final goal, which is getting them from one place to another.”
2. Pay attention to logos. “Not every real-estate agent is aware of certain t’s that need to be crossed and i’s that need to be dotted when it comes to the finer points of using logos,” explains Mike Stackhouse, salesperson for Yorktown, Sasketchewan-based distributor Source Embroidery. “Everything must be done to corporate standard.”
3. Make use of QR codes. “These make sense for everybody in the real-estate market. Say you drive by a house for sale and grab the sale sheet. It should have some pictures and also a code you can scan to see a two-minute video of the house,” suggests Weiner. “Real-estate agents aren’t grasping this idea, so it’s an opportunity for distributors.”
4. Don’t follow the crowd. “Real-estate agents can be uncreative. If one sees another doing peel-off magnets for business cards, they all start doing it,” Weiner says. “Instead, they should order items that are reflective of them or things that their clients will like. Don’t just mass-produce100 barbecue sets.”
5. Consider the unconventional options. “Chocolate isn’t on the forefront of brokers’ minds, but it’s a great gift for real-estate promotions,” says David Miller, president of Freeport, New York-based supplier Chocolate Inn (UPIC: chocinn). “We can change the shape of a chocolate house to reflect the shape of the house on the market.”
6. Explain the value of relationships. “There aren’t many real-estate agents who work on relationships—they work on transactional business,” Weiner says. “Most agents only sell a few houses a year. They should be spending money on those people, but they’re not. They should be thinking about referrals.”
7. Know that business will go on. “Whether the housing market is in the doldrums or not, brokers still need to make a living,” Miller says. “They still need to elicit sales. There’s less going on in the market now, so it’s more competitive. Distributors should try to get their clients in the forefront of people’s minds.”
Real-Estate Campaigns That Work
Two distributors share examples of their real-estate success stories.
“One of my clients is a settlement company. We wanted to target their top real-estate agents, who were their referral sources. We had three huge snow storms last winter, so we used a three-piece snow shovel they can put in their car. It came with a fully custom newspaper mailer that included a cute story about ‘Snowmageddon,’ and how their company helped people plow their way out of the mortgage misery. It was very tongue-in-cheek.
“We did 100 snow shovels. It was cool because it was three pieces, and it was simple to ship. It was made to be put in the car, as many real-estate agents are always on the go. I’ve always suggested to my clients that if they’re going to target real-estate agents, remember that they’re going to be in their car often, traveling from place to place. Why give them a ceramic coffee mug? Give them a travel mug. But then at the same time, they also have about 17 of them. So let’s do something completely different, which is why we went with the shovel. Most people don’t have a shovel in their car. My client got a mad amount of response and positive feedback.”
— Seth Weiner, MAS, president of Gaithersburg, Maryland-based distributor Sonic Promos (UPIC: sonicpro).
“I’ve worked for ReMax for about two years. A major campaign we did was a billboard-sign campaign in which we designed and printed a series of 8’ x 16’ signs to post on highways throughout southern Saskatchewan. [The client] did 20 of them for its agricultural team and urban team.
“They were looking for someone to simply handle it. They didn’t want to worry about what would look good or how big the billboards should be. They wanted to put those decisions into a company that specializes in that type of thing. Trust was an important factor. They wanted to make sure pricing was fair, artwork was topnotch, and the advice they were getting from us was expert. They feel that their expertise is selling houses and ours is promotional advertising.”
—Mike Stackhouse, salesperson for Yorktown, Sasketchewan-based distributor Source Embroidery
Home Sweet Home
Open the door to new business with these self-promotion and housewarming ideas.
(Clockwise from top left)
Sweeten the home-buying experience with a Custom Chocolate Gift Box. It contains a customized center chocolate piece surrounded by 12 milk- and dark-chocolate pieces.
Chocolate Inn UPIC: CHOCINN 800-526-3437
Display happy moments in the Hampton Classic Folding Frame, which is made from cowhide leather with a contrasting color interior. A magnetic closure lets it snap shut and tuck inside a moving box.
Prime Resources Corp. UPIC: PRIME 800-873-7746
Promo Planters brighten any home with a pop of color. The containers are made from rice hull and corn husk, and can be customized with a full-color digital logo. Choose from eight seed options, five planter colors and five package designs.
Aakron Rule Corp. UPIC: AAKRON 800-828-1570
The Write On Clip includes a strong magnetic back to keep it visible on the fridge and a white marker board to jot down open-house times. A dry-erase marker is stored in the clip.
Crown Products, Inc. UPIC: CROWNPRO 800-367-2769
A quick spritz from the House-Shaped Hand Sanitizer and hands are germ-free. There’s no alcohol in this odorless sanitizer, which is nontoxic and eco-friendly.
Calibre International LLC UPIC: HCL 800-707-2757